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Genevieve O’Reilly Told Us All About the Evolution of Mon Mothma From ‘Andor’ to ‘Rogue One’

Genevieve O'Reilly in Andor as Mon Mothma

Disney+’s Andor Star Wars series is going to be a gift for fans of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story for many reasons. Functioning as an even earlier prequel, the series will show us how the titular Cassian Andor (played by Diego Luna) grew into the Rebel spy who worked with Jyn Erso to steal the Death Star plans in Rogue One, but we also get to see political figures from the Rebellion, like Mon Mothma, come into the power we know she will eventually have.

In preparation for the release of Andor, we spoke with actress Genevieve O’Reilly about playing a character we’ve seen in three distinct periods in her life now. O’Reilly played Mon Mothma in Rogue One, taking over the role from Caroline Blakiston, who played her in the original Star Wars trilogy. Previously, we saw her deep in the trenches of the Rebellion as someone who was a leader therein, but with Andor, this is prior to the start of the Rebellion as we know it, and seeing Mon Mothma’s journey throughout the show informs a lot of what we know about her from other Star Wars properties.

I asked O’Reilly about what it felt like to play Mon Mothma at a time when she’s not a leader among our heroes, and she talked a lot about how her journey in Andor does a lot to give us an insight into who she was prior to the rise of the Empire and at the end of the Republic.

“It’s wonderful to have an opportunity to start Mon Mothma in a place we’ve never seen her before,” O’Reilly said. “Previously, we have seen her surrounded by Rebels, by like-minded people, you know in a bunker or in a war room with a fully fledged organized Rebellion behind her. Where we meet her in Andor, there is no Rebellion yet. There are only whispers. She’s a woman steeped in Empire, working within the Imperial Senate. She’s a woman with very few allies, she’s a lonely female voice, standing up for democracy in opposition to Palpatine. So she’s a woman in a dangerous place.”

Mon Mothma has had the kind of journey throughout the world of Star Wars that, when you break it down, is probably the most akin to a real-life political figure operating in a war setting they don’t agree with. She started as part of the Senate when she was a teenager and opposed Palpatine then, and that anger only grew as the Empire’s power grew.

We also briefly talked about Mon Mothma’s relationship with Cassian and how, right now, no one really knows how series creator Tony Gilroy plans to connect this all back to Rogue One, especially since we know that Cassian and Mon Mothma have a relationship prior to Jyn joining them. So we’ll have to wait and see, but it is so incredibly fascinating listening to Genevieve O’Reilly talk about this character and her importance to the Rebels.

You can see our full interview here:

Andor hits Disney+ on September 21! We get to see characters like Mon Mothma like we never have before, and it is truly the most exciting time to be a fan of Star Wars.

(featured image: Lucasfilm)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.